Last year’s birthday couldn’t be more different than this year’s. Sean was deployed, though due to come home soon. After 7 months apart I was fully adjusted to doing my thing. I was rocking the job of my dreams, surrounded by dear friends-turned-family, with plenty of spare time to pursue my own passions. Everything was on my terms – keyword: my.
Then everything changed. Sean returned from deployment, and we had to figure out how to blend our lives again as the newlyweds we were before he left. Then, new military orders came, and I had to say goodbye to my friends, family and dream job in pursuit of a cross-country transfer. And we got pregnant, too.
One year later and another year older, I’m an entirely different person. I’ve sacrificed many pieces of “my” life in exchange for a life with my husband, the military and our baby boy on the way.
It’s easy to fear all of this change, as these sacrifices can feel like losses. They are, indeed, pieces that I have given up in order to make time and room for the things that I am gaining.
And then I remember just that – what I am gaining. At the end of the day, I’m not detracting from myself at all, I’m adding to myself. I’m evolving into someone bigger than myself. I’m now a wife and a mother on top of all the other defining pieces of me that have been in the works these past 26 years.
Gone are the days of celebrating just me, myself and I. My birthdays will never be the same, but these new identities bring so much joy and depth to my life.
I couldn’t ask for a better gift.